This chapter examines the development of Russia's civil society and its non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which are autonomous organizations independent from the state. NGOs are subjects acting in the collective, the social and often even political sphere of a society. The chapter focuses on the general basis of civil society. It discusses a comparison of the conditions during Soviet times and Putin's relationship with civil society in his first and second terms of office, and also describes the interim period with President Medvedev. The chapter analyses the situation of the Russian civil society before and after Putin's return to power in 2012. It raises some special issues that are relevant for understanding the relationship between the state and civil society in modern Russia. The NGO leaders mostly retained their influence, but more often as individuals rather than as representatives of their organizations.